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Sinn Féin challenges the government on upward only rents comments

2 April, 2012

The Sinn Féin jobs spokesperson Peadar Tóibín has challenged An Taoiseach Enda Kenny on comments he made at the Fine Gael Ard Fheis regarding the issue of upward only rent reviews.

An Taoiseach said that the government had intended to end upward only rent reviews but that this was “impossible because of constitutional difficulties.”

Deputy Tóibín said:

“Last week I published a Bill that would end the continued use of upward only rent reviews clauses in existing leases.

“We believe that this Bill is constitutionally sound and would be one mechanism for ending these clauses that have tied viable businesses into unviable rents which were struck at the height of the property bubble.

“The continued operation of these leases has cost jobs in the SME sectors and has placed a further 30,000 retail sector jobs in jeopardy. Over the weekend it was announced that a pack was being put together to safeguard jobs in the GAME group. However this will not be extended to Ireland due to the high operation costs of rents.

“There is a growing concern that the government is more concerned with the needs of property landlords than with SMEs and jobs in the real economy.

“There is more that the government can do. It can clearly outline what it believes to be the constitutional impediments to ending these types of clauses. There is unanimous support across the Oireachtas to end these clauses. The government should work with tenants and other political parties to resolve this matter.

“It should be noted that a number of government agencies act as landlords and include these clauses in their leases. These directly impact on SMEs.

“There is no legal impediment to the government directing state bodies to stop imposing these types of leases on their tenants.”

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